December 26, 2017 / 4:37 AM / 23 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls to near 6-wk low, Keppel biggest drag

    By Chandini Monnappa
    Dec 26 (Reuters) - Singapore shares hit their lowest in
nearly six weeks on Tuesday, dragged down mainly by oil
equipment and services providers after a unit of Keppel Corp Ltd
 agreed to pay a $422 million fine to resolve charges
that it bribed Brazilian officials.
    Keppel shares tumbled as much as 5.1 percent to their lowest
since Oct. 19, and also marked their biggest intraday percentage
drop since late April 2016.
    Keppel Corp's offshore rig building business, Keppel
Offshore & Marine Ltd, agreed to pay the combined penalty to
resolve investigations by authorities in the United States,
Brazil and its home country of Singapore, the U.S. Justice
Department said.
    "The imposition of the financial penalties is undoubtedly a
negative," Nomura said in a note. "The stock could be under
pressure in the near term, we see this resolution as removing a
key overhang on the stock."
    Shares of Sembcorp Marine Ltd fell as much as 4.6
percent to their lowest since Nov. 15, after the company said
its Jurong Shipyard unit had agreed to sell semi-submersible rig
West Rigel for $500 million and that the sale would result in a
loss of about S$24 million ($17.86 million).    
    Sembcorp Marine was also named among foreign companies that
did business with people who are under investigation in Brazil
as part of a massive corruption investigation involving the
country's state-run oil company Petrobras.
    Sembcorp Marine had said earlier it did not make any illegal
payment. 
    Meanwhile, investors are waiting for the consumer price
index data, due later in the day, for cues about the
city-state's economy.
    Headline consumer price index is expected to have risen in
November from a year earlier, a Reuters poll showed, with the
pace seen edging up slightly, partly due to higher oil
prices.nL4N1OK3DT]
    Malaysian shares slipped with losses seen across
almost all sectors.
    Telekom Malaysia Bhd was the biggest drag,
dropping nearly 6 percent, while Sime Darby gained
nearly 3 percent.
    Thai shares were little changed with gains in
consumer and real estate stocks offset by losses in financials.
    Thailand's tourism ministry said on Monday that the country
saw a 23.2 percent rise in foreign tourists in November.

    The tourism industry is a major employer and accounts for 12
percent of the country's economy.
    The Philippine and Indonesian markets were
closed for a local holiday.
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0333 GMT
 Market                   Current   previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore                3375.46   3385.71         -0.30
 Bangkok                  1749.77   1750.22         -0.03
 Kuala Lumpur             1754.58   1760.24         -0.32
 Ho Chi Minh              958.86    958.31          0.06
                                                    
 Change so far this year                            
 Market                   Current   End 2016        Pct Move
 Singapore                3375.46   2880.76         17.17
 Bangkok                  1749.77   1542.94         13.40
 Kuala Lumpur             1754.58   1641.73         6.87
 Ho Chi Minh              958.86    664.87          44.22
 
($1 = 1.3435 Singapore dollars)

 (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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